Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees Continue To Make Cranky Rock Critics Even Crankier

Nov 15th, 2007 // 26 Comments

So a lot of old timey rock critics are getting irritable over the nominees for this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but San Francisco Chronicle senior pop crit Joel Selvin is just left tired by them, too tired to even bother voting. Are this year’s nominees really so enervating?

Afrika Bambaataa: Hip-Hop Hall of Fame, maybe.

Beastie Boys: See above.

Chic: A one-hit disco band?

Leonard Cohen: Nobody admires Cohen more than I do, but I don’t think of him as having had a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career.

Dave Clark Five: Not really in the same league with the Beatles, Stones, etc.

Madonna: The only nominee who probably deserves the honor, but I have no enthusiasm for her candidacy.

John Mellencamp: He’s like a solid shortstop who had a long, productive career without ever winning a batting championship or home run title. Never hit the long ball.

Donna Summer: See Chic.

The Ventures: Uh, no … not really.

Maybe I’m just a weirdo “whose musical education began in the ’80s,” but I guess I tend to think of Chic as “one of the most influential production/songwriting teams of the late ’70s/early ’80s” rather than a “one-hit disco band.” Also maybe someone needs to noogie this dude for Nile Rodgers?

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Offers Lackluster Candidates [SF Chronicle]


  1. Camp Tiger Claw

    Joel Selvin: Dipshit old white guy, establishment critic dinosaur.

    His take on Chic, Afrika and the Beasties: See above.

  2. Anonymous

    Hey! What’s wrong with The Ventures?

  3. natepatrin

    Not only does this schmuck know nothing about post-boomer pop music, his Mellencamp analogy proves he knows nothing about baseball, too.

  4. natepatrin

    Also, you might as well have stopped here: “The list of musicians not inducted into the Hall of Fame is a roll call of honor: Steve Miller…”

  5. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    @metamuslix: Absolutely nothing, that’s what.

    I know for a fact that induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would mean the world to the Ventures. They were EXTREMELY influential to many guitar players who are already in the building.

  6. beta.rogan

    @metamuslix: x100! Man, the Ventures are only the most successful instrumental rock group in the world. This guy needs to realize that Rock and Roll can include a much wider range of music than just the Beatles, Stones and Bob Dylan. God I hate Bob Dylan…

  7. Ned Raggett

    @beta.rogan: Reminds me I need to buy you a drink for that I’m Not There review.

  8. beta.rogan

    @Ned Raggett: hmmm.. I think you may have me mixed up with Andy Beta, but I’ll accept any free drinks regardless of how they are earned. My writing, alas, is about cars rather than music.

    I can however say, that as I sat at the Film Forum waiting for Control to begin, I was forced to watch the preview for I’m Not There. I had a hard time sitting through it without screaming, and it was a mere 5 minutes, let alone the whole movie. I was mentally giving that movie a very loud and angry head-on-chin-sideways-thumbs-down, a-la Spinal Tap fan at the puppet show jazz-odyssey exploration.

  9. Ned Raggett

    Hahah, my apologies. Too many Betas! But yeah, drinks for all.

  10. Diglett

    Donna Summer is more like a 20-hit disco band, which is astronomical for disco, not to mention her influence on subsequent artists. Joel Selvin is not such Hot Stuff.

  11. the rich girls are weeping

    Dear Joel Selvin:

    Remove that stick from yr ass. It’s a lot more comfortable than being an uptight, close-minded racist pig. And really, get your story straight — are the nominees too dull, or too out-of-left field? Your arguments make NO SENSE.

    Also, pls get used to the idea that unless you, oh, keep up with the times, you will be made redundant by people who actually oh, like music — all kinds. Not just critically approved “rock’n'roll.” Lighten up, srsly. I mean, sure, you have a point about the people who’ve been passed over so far, but geez. Everyone will get a turn eventually, I imagine.

    Personally, I think this is kind of the best list of nominees in years. Because you know, I actually like all of the artists and think they’ve all brought something intereting to contemporary popular music — crazy as that might seem.

    cindy hotpoint, from the grave

  12. Chris Molanphy

    Urge to kill…rising…

    What’s insidious about that list is that he intersperses a couple of fair, level-headed points (he’s right, DC5 really aren’t in the same league as their contemporaries; I’m a mild Mellencamp fan, but he has a point there, too) with some truly evil, wrongheaded, rockist Boomer bullshit of the hoariest variety. Any guy who writes things like that about Bambaataa and Chic – in a nationally recognized newspaper, no less – deserves to have his rock critic’s badge torn from his lapel.

    Anyway, I would ask of this jerk what I ask of all bozos who question Rock Hall choices on grounds like, “That’s not ROCK, man!” Simple, just say…

    “Yeah, you’re right. While we’re at it, let’s take the Supremes out of there – those singing black girls don’t even play instruments, man.”

  13. Nately

    @Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee: It would mean a lot to Vanilla Ice, too. That’s no reason to give it to him.

    Ignoring this list of candidates for the moment, I do agree that the RNR HOF is a bit too welcoming. Shouldn’t the honor only be reserved for the absolute best of the best, not just guys/gals who were pretty popular?

  14. janine

    @Nately: Very astute, except the only similarity between Vanilla ice and the Ventures is the latter “V.” Are you even allowed to play guitar without learning “Walk Don’t Run?”

  15. westendgirl

    I have to defend Chic. (No, I never thought I would be saying those words, either.) In their day, they wrote every bass line worth sampling for the next 25 years. Disco is not a crime.

  16. The Van Buren Boys

    I don’t really care which of these nominees actually get in, as long as John Mellencamp doesn’t. He should be banned forever just for This is Our Country. That song has literally ruined every televised sporting event for the past year or so.

  17. Ted Striker


    I’ve always thought of the erstwhile Cougar as more of an Ozzie Guillien myself. A mediocre player, but goddamn if he isn’t everywhere you look.+

  18. Anonymous

    Last month, my aunt and I had a very similar discussion and it was just as infuriating. She argued that Madonna was a lock for induction, but she couldn’t say the same for the Beastie Boys because this is, after all, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and not the Rap Hall of Fame. I argued that if pop acts are allowed, so too must rap acts (unless you like meeting with Jesse and Al). I honestly don’t know what was more frustrating to me – the stance she took or that I was arguing about music with someone who only last year gave Nirvana a try.

  19. Captain Wrong

    On the same page about Chic. I mean, haven’t critics finally gotten the memo that it’s ok to like disco?

    And if he can’t understand the importance of the Ventures, he really should turn in his critic’s badge right now.

    I still think the idea of the RnRHOF is absurd at best.

    @Van Buren & Ted Striker, man, try living in Indiana where worshiping the Coug is practically legally mandated. Any Hoosier not sick of this clown by age 15 has something wrong with them.

  20. Anonymous

    @Captain Wrong: Lol, you know, this Fort Wayne resident has often wondered if the state government snuck through some radio-station Mellencamp quota. Honestly, he’s that omnipresent. The saddest part? I still kind of like him. Fuck that commercial though. Once upon a time I didn’t have to hit the mute button for every single commercial-break during a Colts game.

  21. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    @janine: …and my love for Janine grows.

  22. KittytheKat

    Oh come on—-besides Hawaii 5 0 and get ‘em Danno what else do the Ventures have? Now, let us list all of the artists that Chic gave way to and produced for!!!! And then let’s talk. Diana Ross,YUK!, Madonna, YUK! Carly Simon, and of course LUTHER! The only one that deserves it is Leonard Cohen!

  23. Anonymous

    I get his sentiment. The HOF is, in name, for ROCK AND ROLL, not pop music, i.e. sold a shitload of records.
    If you are into Rock and Roll, you have a problem with just any old big-selling clean act sidling up with your dirty idols. If you see it as a catch-all museum display for old shit you want to remember, you don’t care if Neil Sedaka gets blown by Snow on stage while Guns n’ Roses waits in the wings to claim their statue.

  24. Oldboy

    I rather like this roster, if only for its diversity. John Mellencamp is really just an overachieving journeyman, but face it–it was inevitable, so just grin and bear it.

    Why bitch about the Beastie Boys? They’ve had a great career.

    And hey—the DC5 were at least fun, melodic, and unpretentious. Now if only their control-freak leader would keep the recordings in print…come on, Idolators, sing along—Catch Us If You Caaaan…

    There, now it’s lodged in your brain for the rest of the night.

    You’re welcome.

  25. MameDennis

    If the standard was that new entrants had to be on the same level of influence as the Beatles or the Stones, come ON, there won’t be any new entrants. Ever.

    The DC5 were a highly underrated band, IMHO, and it’s absolutely silly to shut out one of the most visible British Invasion groups. Keep in mind that if not for Jann Wenner’s meddling, they would have been in last year. (And after all Mike Smith has been through, the man deserves some appreciation.)

    And HELL YEAH the Ventures belong in the HOF.

  26. Anonymous

    Chic, in addition to being a SEVERAL-hit wonder, had a freakin’ guitar hero in Nile Rodgers. So they’ll fit right in.

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